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Football Talk

Opinion on the AAFL

By Shane Brooks
On February 11, 2019

With the CFB and the NFL seasons both officially concluded, many fans are normally left with a long wait until August to consume their beloved football again. The Alliance of American Football (AAFL) kicked off their inaugural season this past weekend, a league not necessarily built to rival the NFL, but rather serve as an additional source of football the way they believe football should be played. 

The AAFL is a much smaller sample of games/teams when compared to the NFL. Only eight teams, ten week regular season, four games per week. With television contracts that will nationally televise a good amount, but not all, of the regular season games this season in order to gain an audience. For me, a very avid, passionate, football junkie -- I'm definitely all in with this. I'm a casual basketball fan at best, it's something to watch and enjoy but it's just not football.

The rules of the game are a tad different than what fans are used to, but possibly for the better? They've eliminated kickoffs, the ball is placed on the offense's own 25 yard line. No extra point attempts, you must go for two. To attempt an "onside kick", you have to convert a "4th and 12". You can only blitz up to five men. Also the AAFL has gotten rid of weak tackling calls, they're bringing back hitting to the game of football. The officiating is also different for the better as you're able to challenge no-calls, and listen in on the reasons an official will reverse or withhold a play under review. 

Do I think this league can succeed? Absolutely, and I think that it will. Four football games per week is a very managable recipe for success in the normal offseason for the NFL/CFB, and it has enough initial backing and support to possibly compete in ratings against the NBA and CBB. Ultimately of course basketball will win the ratings battle, their foundation is set while the AAFL is one weekend deep. 

The question of could this oversaturate football comes to mind, because if this league's tenure is lengthy then we could be looking at nonstop football from August-May, that is if you're only counting NFL/CFB/AAFL because the CFL is played in the Summer months. The AAFL playing four games per week isn't going to give us too much football, but if it was like the NFL and had 32 teams thus playing over ten games per week it'd be different.

Like I said before, the AAFL isn't built to rival the NFL and they don't have intentions to become the "main league". This is something that all football fans should be excited about, I encourage everyone to support the league and give it the attention that it deserves. 

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